Made of flexible polyester netting suspended 38 feet above the ground on a framework of steel rings, cables and poles, this monumental work reflects the iridescent beauty of southwestern light and makes visible the unseen patterns of desert winds. The sculpture's billowing and rippling net rises to an overall height of 100 feet and spans about 100 feet wide at its highest point. Echelman's vortex-like design for the net was inspired by Arizona's distinctive monsoon cloud formations, and by saguaro flowers and saguaro boots (which form inside the cactus and are often used as nests by birds).
The large three-dimensional multi-layered form is created by a combination of hand-baiting and machine-loomed knotting, and is the result of a collaborative effort with an international team of award-winning engineers. This work redefines the 'art space,' by bringing viewers eyes upwards to the sky, focused on a new celestial object.
Specialized lighting gives the sculpture an extraordinary glowing presence at night. The illumination program, developed by Paul Deeb, of VOX, in consultation with the artist, changes color gradually through the seasons. Using 20 high-intensity metal halide fixtures at five optimum locations, Deeb combined a range of blue and magenta filters to enhance without overpowering the richness of the net's integrally-colored polyester fibers.
DESIGN AND FABRICATION TEAM
Speranza Architecture, architect (Barcelona)
CAID Industries, project coordination, design/engineering and fabrication (Tucson)
M3 Engineers, steel structural engineer (Tucson)
Buro Happold Consulting Engineers, P.C. (New York), net design/engineering
Peter Heppel Associates (Paris), net design consultant
EDAW, landscape architects (Phoenix)
Paul Deeb, VOX, lighting design
Foresite Design and Construction, sculptural foundations and park (Tempe)
Nexus Steel, structural steel installation/erection (Tempe)
Diamond Nets, net fabrication (Washington)
NETServices, net installation (Washington)